Miscellany

Miscellany

Google pushes to turn product searches into cash

Alphabet Inc’s Google routinely fields product queries from millions of shoppers. Now it wants to take a cut of their purchases, too.

The US technology company is teaming up with retailers including Target Corp, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp and Ulta Beauty Inc.

Under a new programme, retailers can list their products on Google Search, as well as on the Google Express shopping service, and Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

Airports stretched as passengers reach new heights

India’s airports are struggling to cope with a massive surge in passenger numbers and billions of dollars must be spent to boost their capacity, analysts have warned.

The country is witnessing a huge boom in air travel as its growing middle class increasingly takes to the skies but experts say infrastructure is failing to keep up.

“There’s an urgent need for capacity building in major Indian airports as they are bursting at the seams and close to saturation,” Binit Somaia, South Asia Director at the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), said.

Half of Indian travellers to spend Rs 1 lakh this summer

India is one of the fastest growing countries in terms of number of travellers and their travel spends. No wonder, around half of Indian travellers are willing to spend at least Rs one lakh this summer. 

Almost 45 per cent of the Indian travellers hope to spend at least Rs 1 lakh on their summer travel, while around 16 per cent of the holidaymakers are planning to spend over Rs 3 lakh, finds a survey by global travel search engine KAYAK.

EoI invited for first pod taxi

The government has invited expression of interest (EoI) to execute the country’s maiden pod taxi project on Delhi-Gurgaon corridor, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

The development follows a high-level panel recommending inviting fresh bids for the project, also known as personal rapid transport (PRT), conforming to the strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.

Bangalore third cheapest city in the world

Tech capital Bangalore is the third cheapest city in the world, as per a report compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an arm of The Economist Group.

The report places Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi in the sixth, seventh and tenth positions respectively. Also the report says, these four Indian cities are among the 10 cheapest places on the planet.

Kazakhstan’s Almaty is the cheapest in the world, followed by Lagos in Nigeria. Karachi is placed 4th, Algerian capital Algiers 5th,

Ukrainian capital Kiev 8th and Romanian Bucharest is ranked 9th.

Tech majors vying to amass 5g patents

US President Donald Trump has blocked microchip ma­ker Broadcom’s $117 billion takeover of rival Qualcomm amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in the next generation of mobile communications, or 5G.

5G networks, now in the final testing stage, will rely on denser arrays of small antennas and the cloud to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks and serve as critical infrastructure for a range of industries.

India builds Honor for handset major Huawei

India has emerged as the key R&D hub for global information and communication technology (ICT) solutions major, Huawei Technologies, a $100 billion revenue company based in Shenzhen, China.

Huawei’s India R&D centre that employs over 3,000 engineers inBangalore takes care of customisation requirements for Huawei sma­rtphones meant for global markets. The centre also has the mandate for software and Emotion UI (under interface) designs and solutions, contributing significantly to the company’s global smartphone delivery targets.

Google guru Page tests flying taxis in New Zealand

Pilot-less flying taxis are being tested in New Zealand as part of a project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page that supporters say will revolutionise personal transport.

New Zealand regulators late on Tuesday approved plans for Zephyr Airworks, a subsidiary of Page's company Kitty Hawk, to develop and test the futuristic air taxis.

Known as Cora, the electric aircraft has a dozen small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.

BSNL, Data X Gen in pact for linguistic domains, emails

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has entered into an agreement with Data X Gen, the world’s first linguistic email service provider, for supporting .bharat in 15 Indian language domains.

To break the language barrier and provide internet in local languages, the national internet exchange of India (Nixi) launched internationalised domain names (IDN) in 15 Indian languages. But the project did not take off as there was no tech solution to provide email on IDNs was available.

Apple, Google see reputation of corporate brands tumble

Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google corporate brands dropped in an annual survey while Amazon.com Inc maintained the top spot for the third consecutive year, and electric carmaker Telsa Inc rocketed higher after sending a red Roadster into space.

iPhone maker Apple dropped to 29th from its previous position of No. 5, and Google dropped from 8th to No. 28. Apple had ranked No. 2 as recently as 2016, according to the annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient poll released on Tuesday.

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